Alcohol use is particularly deleterious for HIV-infected individuals and thus accurate assessment of alcohol consumption is crucial in this population. Phosphatidylethanol (PEth) provides an objective assessment of drinking and can be compared to self-reported alcohol assessments to detect underreporting. The purpose of this study was to identify underreporting and its potential predictors in an HIV-infected sample of young Russian women. The current study examined the concordance between a quantitative measure of PEth and self-reported recent alcohol consumption in a prospective sample of HIV-infected young women (N = 204) receiving medical care in Saint Petersburg, Russia. At baseline, 53% of participants who denied drinking in the prior 30 days tested positive for PEth (i.e., underreporters), although this rate decreased significantly at a three-month follow-up assessment. Further exploration did not identify consistent predictors of underreporting status. Quantitative PEth levels showed, at best, modest overlap to self-reported alcohol consumption among those reporting alcohol use (e.g., Spearman’s r = 0.27 between PEth and total drinks past-30 days at baseline). Objective measures of alcohol consumption demonstrate modest overlap with self-report measures of use in HIV-infected young Russian women. Incorporating objective and quantifiable biological markers are essential for valid assessments of alcohol use.
- Alcohol drinking